Working from home or shirking from home? Personality trait as a predictor of remote working preference

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Murray, Graham
Issue Date
MSc in Applied Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The positives and negatives of remote working have been hotly debated in recent years. Remote work has been hampered with scepticism around performance and trust. The sudden onset Covid-19 has made remote working a reality for many employees worldwide. The long term effects of this on employee mental health are still not known. Personality traits have historically been an accurate predictor of working behaviours and mental health. The primary aim of this study was to look for a relationship between personality traits and remote working preference. 258 participants took part in a remote working survey and personality trait test. The groups comprised of participants who worked remotely prior to Covid-19, worked remotely as a result of Covid-19 and who did not work remotely at all. The groups were compared on their personality trait scores and their remote working preference. Parametric and non-parametric statistical analyses were used to compare the means of each group against personality trait scores. The study found a significant relationship between two of the Big 5 personality traits and remote working preference. The traits were Emotional stability and Conscientiousness. Gender was also compared for remote working preference, no significant relationship was found. The secondary aim of this study was to initiate a test and learn process for a Remote Working Suitability Scale developed by the researcher, the R.W.S.S. The research has shown that personality traits should be taken into account when designing remote working policy and evidence-based mental health interventions.